PH: Pasay court clears Abalos from election fraud raps
A Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge on Monday acquitted the former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos from charges that he manipulated results of the 2007 mid-term elections.
In its nine-page order, Pasay RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas cleared Abalos after finding "reasonable doubt" on the two counts of electoral sabotage charges in connection with the alleged election fraud in North Cotabato during the 2007 polls.
”As a result, the existence of conspiracy against Abalos in particular cannot establish beyond reasonable doubt. Absence and any clear and convincing evidence to prove the connection of Abalos to these people had active participation, the same may be interpreted either way. Hence, the court cast serious doubts as to its probative value,” Mupas said in his order dated February 2.
For his part, Abalos said that he was confident that he would get fair decision.
Abalos was accused of rigging election results in several provinces during the 2007 national elections purportedly in favor of the senatorial candidates from the party of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Last October, Abalos was also acquitted from the case alleging him of tampering election results, this time in South Cotabato during the 2007 elections.
Judge Eugenia Dela Cruz said that Radam's testimony "failed to prove the existence of conspiracy among the accused but more importantly was unable to establish the participation of accused Abalos in the commission of the crimes."